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Natural Health Resource Center


  • Natural remedies, homeopathy, herbal preparations, and other alternative health practices can offer a natural way to maintain ones health. However, herbs can be very powerful and it is important to know how your body responds to different combinations and doses. This section provides some guidance when selecting alternative health options.

Reflexology

Reflexology is the application of pressure, stretching and movement to the feet and hands to trigger corresponding parts of the body. Reflexologists view the feet and hands as a mirror image of the body. A reflexologist can break up patterns of stress in other parts of the body by applying these techniques.

Reflexology Charts

One of the best ways to learn the basics of reflexology is to review the interactive hand and foot reflexology charts.

 


How does reflexology work?

There are many theories, but in our approach we look at the nervous system as the explanation of reflexology's working.

Pressure applied to the feet generates a signal through the peripheral nervous system. From there it enters the central nervous system where it is processed in various parts of the brain. It is then relayed to the internal organs to allocate the necessary adjustments in fuel and oxygen, Finally a response is fashioned that is sent onto the motor system.

This message is feed forward to adjust the body's tone or overall tension level. If applied properly the tone will reset itself to a lower operating tempo. A lower operating tempo means a lessening of stress and less wear and tear on the body's systems.


Where do you apply technique?

We apply techniques to the feet and hands. There is a school of thought that also applies it to the ear arguing it is also reflexology. The techniques, however, are modified from auricular therapy, an acupuncture technique.

It could be argued that all bodywork is reflexive therefore reflexology. We find that the extremities have a powerful influence because of locomotion. While we acknowledge that repeated patterns exist throughout the body we find our most effective focus to be the feet and hands.


What are the benefits of reflexology ?

In general terms, the benefits of reflexology have to do with the reduction of stress. Because the feet and hands help set the tension level for the rest of the body they are an easy way to interrupt the stress signal and reset homeostasis, the body's equilibrium.

Whether reflexology can benefit certain conditions and diseases in still under investigation. Further scientific study needs to be done in order to come to some definite benefits of reflexology with regard to illness and disease.

Reflexology is a complement to standard medical care. It should not be construed as medical advice. It should not be a replacement to medical help. Please use it wisely. We care about your safety.


When should I do reflexology ?

Reflexology can be done practically anytime and any where. The trick is consistency. We have been impressed with the results from China. Their secret seems to be that they do reflexology once a day for six days in two week segments. Then they review the results and do more segments as necessary.

This requires self help and family help as well as the guidance of practitioners. The practitioner can give you a quality signal to break up the pattern of stress, but you and your family can provide the quantity to help break it up.

Build reflexology into your life. It is easy to do reflexology while doing other activities. Put a foot roller under your desk or work your hands while waiting for the kids at school. Be creative, but be consistent. Five minutes a day is worth more than an hour once in awhile.


Who does reflexology?

There are a variety of people doing reflexology from concerned parents to doctors in China. It is a useful tool for a variety of situations. Many professions have taken up reflexology from cosmetologists to nurses.

Reflexology is now being introduced into hospitals and HMO's. It is even being considered for insurance reimbursement.

There are full time professionals doing reflexology. We think the future looks bright for reflexology and the profession of reflexology.

What should I expect from a reflexology session?

Reflexology sessions in general last from 30 minutes to an hour. It is a clothed session with only the removal of shoes and socks as a requirement. (Some massage therapists add it as a part of a overall massage session so they will require the removal of additional clothing.)

Reflexologist will use a chair and at times a table. Some do use oil, but this is a tool that is debated within the profession. The dry technique is common.

Reflexologists use pressure, stretch and movement to work through the foot methodically. The whole foot should be worked in most circumstances. Both feet should be covered as well.

The reflexologist should work within your comfort zone. Too much pressure can actually be harmful and could lead to injury. But personal preference is something you should communicate with your reflexologist. If you indicate that too much pressure is being used and the practitioner continues, we suggest you stop the session. You should always have your wishes respected.

Do not rely on a reflexologist for medical help. The reflexologist is limited to complementing medicine, not replacing it.

You should feel relaxation at the end of a session. How long that relaxation lasts is a good indicator of the effectiveness of the session. Make note of this and tell your reflexologist your response to the session.

Finally, enjoy the session. Be careful that talking doesn't interfere with the relaxation effect.


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